Nursing home abuse and neglect has risen to unacceptable levels as helpless elderly patients end up in abusive nursing homes and suffer daily at the hands of an over worked, underpaid staff.
Are your parents suffering the abuse of an understaffed nursing home? Do they appear to be clean, groomed, and alert? Is the staff sympathetic and friendly?
Currently, there are approximately 17,000 nursing homes caring for 1.6 million patients in the United States and according to latest research, most of them are understaffed. The ones suffering the most abuse and neglect in abusive and negligent nursing homes are those receiving little or no visitors. Being helpless with no one to defend them, they are at the mercy of the staff.
The most common abuse suffered by nursing home residents who receive little or no visitors is neglect. For instance, when a resident needs to be changed it may be put off if he or she gets very few visitors. The helpless elderly resident has to wait until someone gets around to cleaning them up while the acid eats away at their skin.
Verbal abuse is another common problem found in abusive and negligent nursing homes. Elderly residents become targets for disgruntled staff members to vent their frustrations. The patient is helpless when a staff member yanks them forward to change their bed, cursing them for soiling the sheets, adding more work to their already full workload.
Talking down to the elderly in nursing homes is another form of abuse, treating them as if they were children or demeaning them with baby talk. Many have been subjected to childlike punishments like making them sit in the corner, facing the wall.
Nevertheless, there are several situations where the patient requires medical attention that we cannot give them. Therefore, if a nursing home is the only option, make a thorough background check and visit often, looking for signs of abuse and neglect. But if there is any way to keep an elderly parent out of a nursing home it could spare them severe grief.
“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” (1Tim 5:4)
Old age is something we all have to face sooner or later. Do for your elderly parents what you would have your children do for you. There are a number of free government programs to help care for an elderly parent in the home.
However, sometimes we have no other choice. If a nursing home is the only option, visit often and look for signs of abuse. Abuse of any kind should be reported to the nursing home administrator, the office of long term care services, and adult protective services.